In the new hit series Preacher, based on the cult comic book, Texas preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) is possessed by an angel-demon entity, imbuing him with not just any ordinary super-power, but ‘The Word of God’- whereby people must obey his commands when he talks in a strange voice. It takes Jesse some getting used to before he can fully utilise this powerful and peculiar new skill. Here are some other of the strangest – and possibly most useless – superpowers that comic book characters have been given.
Yes, you read that right – after Spider Man and Catwoman, there’s Squirrel Girl, who has the incredible ability to befriend and deploy squirrels to her advantage. In her first appearance in a Marvel Comic in 1992, she rescues Iron Man from Doctor Doom with the help of a load of squirrels, so surely it is only a matter of time before she turns up in a blockbuster alongside Robert Downey Jr.
Superpower usefulness: If you’re in the park and squirrels are after your peanuts, it might come in handy.
This DC Comics character from the Legion of Super Heroes is able to detach his limbs and use them to batter people with. His comic book career was reasonably short-lived, and so far, no film adaptation has been made, not even a cartoon. Give it time. Some claim AFOB is the ‘worst superhero ever’… but then maybe they’ve never heard of our next weird superpower owner, Matter-Eater Lad…
Superpower usefulness: If you don’t have any weapons to hand, this could be just the ticket.
Okay, so maybe Matter-Eater-Lad isn’t the worst superhero ever, but he is certainly a contender for the least catchy superhero name. Another DC creation, Matter-Eater-Lad is another of the Legion of Super Heroes, and is able to, erm, eat matter. He didn’t have many plotlines, because the writers couldn’t figure out a way to make him useful. The Legion of Superheroes is the comic book that just keeps giving… us ridiculous superheroes with bizarre powers. Don’t even mention Elastic Lad, Dream Boy, and Bouncing Boy…
Superpower usefulness: If you need some matter consumed, he’s your man. Surrounded by a fence and can’t get out? Call in the lad.
This lesser-known character from X-Men, who made a brief appearance in the comic at the end of the Nineties, is a South African mutant, who, wait for it, has two giant maggots in his stomach, who come out, and can eat pretty much anything, then return to his stomach and give him extraordinary strength. Now, I can’t for the life of me think why he didn’t turn up in those big budget Hollywood X-Men adaptations.
Superpower usefulness: You need never go hungry if you are lucky enough to have this power.
This little known character who appeared in 1980 was created by Marvel and a record company, and, so it is no coincidence she is a superhero and a pop star. She made occasional appearances in the X-Men comics, deploying her ability to generate light to, well, dazzling effect. But to be honest, her skills were put to better use making the lightshows for her pop concerts.
Superpower usefulness: If there’s a power cut there is no one better to have around.
Marvel’s Tag, who first appeared in 2015, is part of the Hellions, and has the power to make people flock to, or away from whoever he tags. It smacks ever so slightly of comic book creators running out of interesting super powers.
Superpower usefulness: This could be very handy at office Christmas parties.
Preacher: Season One (18) is available on DVD & Blu-Ray from today, Monday 17th October 2016, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.